winter wonderland…

Winter Wonderland by Emma Williams |

share the joy of the holidays with this dimensional decor project from media team emma williams.  i love the idea of taking a flat die cut shape and turning into a 3-D element.  check out this clever tutorial to learn the tips and tricks to try it yourself…

Hi everyone, Emma here and today I’m sharing my Winter Wonderland tutorial. When I started to think about this tutorial, I was also thinking about my own Christmas decor and there was this particular spot that I wanted to fill in my home but no matter how hard I tried, I just couldn’t find that perfect piece. So, I decided to create some of my own Christmas magic by making this ornamental plaque using die cutting to create the main focal points.


  • Surfaces: chipboard
  • Dies: Prancing Deer, Sleigh Ride
  • Embellishments: Mirrored Stars, Tree Lot Bulk, Ice Skate Adornments, Letterpress, Mini Trees, Woodland Wreaths
  • Distress Spray Stains: Peeled Paint, Tarnished Brass
  • Distress Paint: Antiqued Bronze, Antique Linen, Picket Fence, Walnut Stain, Tumbled Glass
  • Distress Glitter: Rock Candy, Antique Linen
  • Alcohol Ink: Latte
  • Adhesive: Hot Glue Gun, PVA Glue
  • Mediums: Ranger Texture Paste, Glossy Accents, Gesso
  • Tools: Vagabond, Paint Brushes, Craft Sheet, Sanding Grip, Palette Knife
  • Other: MDF plaque, cotton spools, cheesecloth, bells, adhesive pearl

Winter Wonderland by Emma Williams |

To begin with I primed a MDF plaque with one coat of Gesso and allowed it to dry throughly.

Winter Wonderland by Emma Williams |

Paint the surface of the plaque with Picket Fence Distress Paint and either leave to dry naturally, or you can gently heat dry it with a heat gun.

Winter Wonderland by Emma Williams |

Once dry, apply a layer of Texture Paste over the painted surface. At this stage you want the appearance of snow, so use a palette knife to create texture.

Winter Wonderland by Emma Williams |

Whilst the paste is still wet, add a light sprinkling of Rock Candy Distress Glitter over the top and leave to dry.

Winter Wonderland by Emma Williams |

Die cut four of the Prancing Deer images from chipboard.

Winter Wonderland by Emma Williams |

To give you one complete deer that will be strong enough to be freestanding when added to your plaque, layer each of the images over the top of the previous die cut image and attach each layer with glue.

Winter Wonderland by Emma Williams |

Die cut two of the Sleigh Ride images from chipboard. Cut two pieces of chipboard measuring 1” square and a second piece to measure, 2” x 1”.

Winter Wonderland by Emma Williams |

Prime each of the die cut pieces with Gesso and set aside to dry.

Winter Wonderland by Emma Williams |

To create the freestanding sleigh, take one of the sides and the larger piece of cut chipboard. Add a small amount of Glossy Accents along the longest edge of the rectangular piece of chipboard and attach it to the sleigh. This forms the base of the inside of the sleigh.

Winter Wonderland by Emma Williams |

Take the square piece of chipboard and attach this piece at a slight angle to form the back section of the sleigh. Attach with Glossy Accents applied along the edge of the chipboard.

Winter Wonderland by Emma Williams |

Attach the final die cut section to form the sleigh. Leave the Glossy Accents to dry completely.

Winter Wonderland by Emma Williams |

On your craft sheet or in a paint palette, mix a small amount of Antique Linen Distress Paint with a small amount of Picket Fence Distress Paint. I found by mixing these two colours together it gives a really soft weathered white colour and looks wonderful for this winter’s scene. Give the sleigh two coats of the mixed paints, allowing each coat to dry throughly. Mix together some Walnut Stain Distress Paint and Antiqued Bronze and using a dry brush or your fingertip, apply small amounts of the paint along the edges to give a vintage, distressed look to the finished sleigh.

Winter Wonderland by Emma Williams |

Whilst the sleigh was drying, I began painting the Prancing Deer with a layer of Walnut Stain Distress Paint. Dry the paint before adding a second coat of Walnut Stain mixed with a small amount of Antiqued Bronze.

Winter Wonderland by Emma Williams |

Once the paint is dry, add some Glossy Accents to the antlers and cover them in Antique Linen Distress Glitter.

Winter Wonderland by Emma Williams |

Pop the excess glitter back into the pot and let the glittered antlers dry completely and at this stage, don’t be tempted to touch!

Winter Wonderland by Emma Williams |

Spritz one of the wreaths with Tarnished Brass Distress Spray Stain. Add a small amount of Glossy Accents onto your craft sheet and dip the stained wreath into the adhesive. Sprinkle Rock Candy Distress Glitter over the top of the wreath and tap away the excess.

Winter Wonderland by Emma Williams |


Winter Wonderland by Emma Williams |

To prepare all the embellishments for the plaque, begin by spraying two large and one small tree with Peeled Paint Distress Spray Stain. At this point, so that you don’t get any stain on the wooden block that the tree is attached to, wrap a small piece of low tack tape/masking tape around it.

Winter Wonderland by Emma Williams |

When the stained trees are dry and using the same technique as you did for the wreath, apply Glossy Accents to the tips of the trees and sprinkle each tree with glitter before painting the wooden bases with Walnut Stain Distress Paint.

Winter Wonderland by Emma Williams |

For the JOY wording, I used some of the gorgeous Letterpress blocks. I added Tumbled Glass Distress Paint to each of the letters and when the paint is dry, use a sanding tool to gently sand away some of the paint to reveal a distressed look to the lettering. Add small amounts of Picket Fence Distress Paint to the edges of the blocks.

Winter Wonderland by Emma Williams |

Fix the chipboard sleigh, one of the large trees and the Letterpress blocks onto the left hand side of the base plaque, using a hot glue gun to attach.

Winter Wonderland by Emma Williams |

I lined the sleigh with a piece of cheesecloth material and filled it with the smallest of the glittered trees and some metal bells that I had in my stash. These bells were originally gold but I wanted to give them a more vintage rusty feel and changed the colour of them by applying Antiqued Bronze Distress Paint onto the metal.

Winter Wonderland by Emma Williams |

I attached my Prancing Deer and the remaining tree to the plaque and placed the glittered wreath around his neck and added a small pearl for his eye.

Winter Wonderland by Emma Williams |

As a finishing touch, I applied a small amount of Latte Alcohol ink to alter the colour of two Mirrored Stars before attaching them to the front of the sleigh…

Winter Wonderland by Emma Williams |

…and I also added a star to the back of the sleigh. Remember, this is an ornamental piece and you want it to look as good at the back, as it does from the front.

To complete my plaque, I nestled the small skates into the snow.

I wanted to create some more height to the completed plaque, and for this I used some cotton spools from my craft stash and painted them with Picket Fence Distress Paint before attaching the four spools underneath the base section.

Winter Wonderland by Emma Williams |

Now, all that’s left for me to do is put my Winter Wonderland into pride of place ready for the holidays and surround it with twinkling lights. I hope you’ve all enjoyed my tutorial showing you how you can use dies to create 3D ornamental pieces for use in home decor projects and what is so wonderful about making your own decor is that you get to choose the colourway that suits your home and you can fill the sleigh with whatever you choose ~ there are so many options and they are all entirely yours but whatever you decide, I hope I’ve put you into the festive spirit and inspired you with this piece.


*be sure to check your local stores for these supplies or you can click the links below to purchase online…

(SSS=simon says stamp / IE=inspiration emporium)

Prancing Deer (IE|SSS)
Sleigh Ride (IE|SSS)
Woodlands, Tree Lot (SSS|IE)
click here (SSS|IE)
Wreaths (IE|SSS)
Letterpress (IE|SSS)
click here (SSS|ie)
Mirrored Stars (IE|SSS)
Picket Fence Distress Paint (IE|SSS)
Antique Linen Distress Paint (IE|SSS)
Tumbled Glass Distress Paint (IE|SSS)
Walnut Stain Distress Paint (IE|SSS)
Antiqued Bronze Distress Paint (IE|SSS)
Peeled Paint Distress Spray (IE|SSS)
Tarnished Brass Distress Spray (SSS|IE)
Latte Alcohol Ink (SSS|IE)
Rock Candy Distress Glitter (SSS|IE)
Antique Linen Distress Glitter (IE|SSS)
Texture Paste (sss|ie)
Ranger White Gesso (SSS|IE)
Glossy Accents (IE|SSS)
Ranger Artist Brushes (SSS|IE)
Palette Knife (ie|sss)
Sanding Grip (IE|SSS)
Craft Sheet (IE|SSS)
Vagabond (IE|SSS)

Pin it to remember it!

Winter Wonderland Decor by Emma Williams |

Don’t forget to follow Tim Holtz on Pinterest for more great ideas and inspiration!

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69 Comments to “winter wonderland…”

  1. Marlene Letendre says:

    What a great tutorial! This is so gorgeous – will remember this for next Christmas. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Wendy says:

    this was so much fun to make. The instructions were so clear. Thank you

  3. cheryl c says:

    Love that sleigh and glittery antlers … and a whole lot more about this project. It’s winter wonderful!

  4. Carmen Lucero says:

    Absolutely gorgeous!!

  5. Cim Allen says:

    Amazing project .. I would love to have that out for the holidays. The glitter on the deer is too cool !!

  6. Dodie says:

    Fantastic project! I love the weathered look you created with the picket fence and antique linen (I think) paint combination.

  7. Anita Bownds says:

    Wow this looks awesome!!

  8. This is absolutely gorgeous!!! Thanks for the great idea and inspiration!

  9. Kirsten Alicia says:

    Just gorgeous!

  10. Michelle P. says:

    Absolutely breathtaking!

  11. Jacquelene L says:

    This décor piece is fabulous! I love making 3d pieces with my dies. The tutorial is excellent. I will be using your instructions for a 3d sleigh of my own, now I don’t have to try to figure out how to assemble it. Thank you for sharing this gorgeous décor art project.
    Jacquelene L

  12. Johanne Lacombe says:

    It looks amazing. I love it Great tutorial. Thanks for sharing,

  13. Jen Shipley says:

    Love this! great job. Thank you for sharing.

  14. Patricia Howarth says:

    Wow !! Wow !! Wow !! this is fabulous.

  15. Well done! Love the sleigh!

  16. donna russell says:

    awesome thanks for sharing

  17. Karen Thede says:

    I love this !! It really turned out amazing!

  18. marci piraro says:

    Fabulous! I think the skates are just the perfect touch. Thank you for the how to. Love it!

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